Monday, December 6, 2010

The World of Freelance Writing...

...Is completely foreign to me.  I would love to get into freelancing.   So many sources confirm it’s a great way to beef up your portfolio, gain experience and even a little money.

The biggest barrier between me and the world of freelance? – Well, for one,  I have NO idea what it really means or how to get into it.

 A minor issue, really.

I mean ‘Freelance’ in and of itself is kind of a confusing concept.  How does it work?  Do you write the articles before-hand and then go searching for publications who might be interested?  Or do you contact the publications, tell them your freelance and then they assign you articles to write?

What are the differences in query letters when querying an article to an editor and a manuscript to an agent?

How much do you get paid per article?

What are some other options for freelance writers, besides magazines and journals?

As you can tell from the above…I’ve got some serious God’nGoogling to do.   Eventually I hope to have found the answers and when I do- I’ll be sure to share them here on Creepy Query Girl, hopefully enlightening those who will follow in my freelancing footsteps.
In the meantime, if you guys have any answers or information, I’d love to hear it!

Happy Monday people!

*CQG*

28 comments:

Joanna St. James said...

check out this website, I have not had time to look at them thoroughly but they are on my to - do list http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/freelance-writing-job-ads/
you do the homework and let me know how it goes, i found it on writers beware.com

Renae said...

All very good questions. Can't wait to see what you find out!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I've done freelancing. I my case, I wrote the article first and then queried the local parenting magazines. I think this is standard practice when you're new. You certainly won't get paid until you send them the article and it's published. And even then the wait to get the cheque is looooong.

I didn't make much money, especially for the amount of time I put into one of them. And for awhile, I mentioned them in my fiction query, but I don't do that anymore. They weren't significant enough magazines. Plus, I have enough in my bio section to allow me to skip on that.

salarsenッ said...

Hey girl, I should be blogging about this in a few weeks. Hopefully, I can answer some of your questions. For now, Joanna is correct. You can Google anything and find work. Really. I was surprised. You might not make a million bucks but it's a publishing credit--just as precious right now.

Candyland said...

I landed my job with Physorg.com through freelance. The link Joanna gave you is where I found them, and have had many great per project jobs from there.In some cases, you'll need a CV, but others just want you to write something specific for them. I've never done the magazine thing though. I think you have to query them like you do with a book.

E.J. Wesley said...

I think freelance writing is basically the literary equivalent of an assassin. People pay you to anonymously kill others with words ... you may even have to change your identity. I once heard of a freelance writer who spent 6 years undercover in Peru disguised as a goat herder just to do a hit (article?) on some local spice merchant. It can be pretty intense.

Actually, I've no idea what freelancers do, or how they get paid, but I can't wait to see what you come up with! :)

Elena Solodow said...

I've often wondered how all of that works too...

Jodi Henry said...

Oh, I don't know how this works. All I can picture is Toby Miguire as Spiderman, taking all those pictures and then getting yelled all the time by the editor.

Toby/aka Spidyboy was a freelance photographer...

best of luck.

J

Laura Maylene said...

I wrote freelance articles for years for a few regional magazines/newspapers, but one magazine in particular. I had an editor at the magazine who gave me assignments, including deadlines, word counts, contacts. I was paid a set amount of money per article, no matter how long it was. (Which was nice the one time I was assigned a 300-word article instead of the usual 800- to 1,000-word articles.) If you're not in that kind of arrangement where you're getting assignments, then you need to come up with ideas on your own and pitch them to editors -- usually you don't write it beforehand.

Pay and all that varies widely. You might be paid a flat fee per article or per word. Don't do it for free, unless you have some quick easy ideas you want to write just to get your first credit down.

Just a warning that a lot of publications seem to be cutting their freelance budgets...but you can also look for paying online gigs. Good luck.

Laura Pauling said...

I'm sure Google will provide you with lots of answer. I've never searched for online opportunities but if you're looking for magazine or such, read the magazines and then write something that seems to fit. Some kids magazines post their wishlist for the coming season. Good luck researching it - and then share it! :)

Matthew Rush said...

I have no idea, but Candace does ... ooh good, she already commented.

Meredith said...

Ooh, I'd love to learn what you find out about freelancing. That's something I need to research, too!

LTM said...

this is how I make my dollas--for local pubs, they email stories to me, and I take it from there. When I was editor of the local magazine, I knew what I wanted in each issue, I just needed writers. So I would assign.

It helps if you have clips to show you know what you're doing, but many times you can get your foot in the door w/something small. My first ever freelance article was on pagers.

snooze! but it was a start! best of luck~ :D

Old Kitty said...

Oh wow!! Good luck with finding out info on freelancing!!! I always think it's a business you have to start up yourself and find clients - like a freelance editor etc. So I guess it's writing the stuff first then finding who will publish? I may be wrong!!

But what an adventure for you!! Wow!! GOOD LUCK with this - I think if it helps with your writer's profile, why not?!?! Take care
x

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Good luck! You'll figure it out. :-)

Colene Murphy said...

I was wondering the exact same thing not long ago! Hope you find your info! I'd be interested in reading what you find out!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm in your position - I've no idea!

Hart Johnson said...

TOTALLY think you should go for this. I don't know much about it, but yes, I think you typically write articles first and submit them to magazines looking for that kind of thing, but they ALSO put up lists of the kinds of things they look for.

Like all writing, I think it is up-front heavy, but once you get a stream going, can be good money (typically paid per word). If you are knowledgeable about any particular topic, I think it isn't even all that hard to do, though I think businessy topics pay better. But as an ex-pat, I suspect you could have some luck with travel mags or mainstream stuff from the perspective of an American abroad.

I wish you luck with it!

Raquel Byrnes said...

I hope you do a follow-up post to enlighten all of us. It seems from the comments that a lot of people are in the dark about that whole "freelance" world.
Edge of Your Seat Romance

randine said...

"Freelance" seems like one of those loose, ambigious terms that people use and no one really knows what it means but no one really wants to ask because we're afraid the answer might be too complicated and our brains might explode, so you just nod along like you understand. Like on that episode of Seinfeld, with "tax write off."

I've thought of writing freelance, too, but whatever it is- it sounds like it might be more trouble than it's worth.

Slamdunk said...

Sounds like your commenters are full of wisdom and suggestions on this one.

Melissa said...

My mom bought me a book on freelance writing. I am ashamed to say I still haven't read it.

Let us know what you found out?

Jessica Bell said...

Honey do you want me to give you ELT publisher contacts? I'm sure you can do it since you've been teaching English for so long. Email me and we'll talk.

Dawn said...

I've always wanted to freelance on a full time basis with the idea that it would lend me some free time to write...but I found that I live in a tough freelance market and I always stop short of making the giant leap into freelance out of fear of the stack of bills by my microwave. :-( Good luck!

Susan Fields said...

Good luck on your new adventure! I'm afraid I'm no help because I stay as far away from non-fiction as I can. Research - ugh!

Ellen aka Ella said...

I, too am interested in this, too!
I have pondered, but I also need to do my homework, work on my grammar, and punctuation.

The Las Vegas Writer said...

I'm so glad you posted this! I've been wondering the same things!

Melody said...

Ooooooh, please blog about what you find out! I'm in the same boat you are - wow, this is so cool, but how on EARTH does it work?!

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